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Oct. 18, 2013
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South Korea’s festival season opens – SPAF, SIDance, etc.
The Republic of Korea’s larges scale performing arts festival, the international Seoul Performing Arts Festival (SPAF) (Oct. 2-26) opened this time with a play by the Paris Theatre de la Ville, Victor ou les enfants au pouvoir (Victor and the children in power) directed by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota. In its 13th holding this year the festival presents 19 works of theater, dance and cross-over genres including invited works from France, the USA, Poland and Belgium along with other works such as a collaboration between Japan, China and Korea.
Among the notable works are Sontag: Reborn, a dramatization of the autobiographical work of author Susan Sontag by the same title created by the American theater company The Builders Association known for their poetic use of video and sound; a Japan-China-Korea collaborative theater work titled Celebration/Expression directed by Koji Hasegawa, the performing arts general director of the Aomori Museum of Art; Korean director Hyun-Tak Kim’s satirical take on contemporary media titled MEDEA on media, working from the character Medea of ancient Greek tragedy; the site-specific dance work Rotten Apple by the Collective A company led by Korean choreographer Jin-Yeob Cha, etc.
During the festival’s run will also be the finalist performances for the emerging Korean choreographers competition “Seoul Dance Collection. The venues are the Arko Arts Theater, the Daehangno Arts Theater and others.
In it 16th holding this year, the SIDance festival (Oct. 7-27) presents a lineup of 23 programs involving 51 companies and groups from 16 countries. The opening performance is Moon Jars by the Montpellier, France-based Korean Nam Youngho dance company, while the closing program is a collaboration between Germany-based Korean choreographer In-Jung Jun and Australian jazz drummer Simon Baker titled Gateless Gate. Another of the works on the program by foreign-based Korean choreographers is RE: OK…BUT! Created in a collaboration between Singapore’s The Dance Company and its 2011 choreographer in residence Kim Jaeduk.
Other works of note on the schedule are Variation S by the representative Quebec, Canada dance company Cas Public that takes The Rite of Spring as its inspiration; the work He, He.. Helium created by Macedonian choreographer Igor Kirov with Slovenian dancers; The Perfect Reason and other works by emerging Korean choreographer, leader of the EDx2Dance Company.
Also, the concurrent Hi Seoul Festival (Oct. 2-6) presents showcase performances by the Japanese company Akuma no Shirushi’s Carry In Project, while the young dance company 21st Century GEBA GEBA dance company will do showcase performances at the Performing Arts Market in Seoul (PAMS) (Oct. 7-11).

Festival Outline
SPAF (Seoul Performing Arts Festival)
Launched in 2001 after a merging of the Seoul Theater Festival (founded 1977) and the Seoul Dance Festival (founded 1978), the Seoul Performing Arts Festival (SPAF) is now an independent comprehensive theater and performing arts festival. Since 2011 it has received national government funding and organized by the South Korea’s HANPAC performing arts center.
SIDance (Seoul International Dance Festival)
SIDance was first held in 1998 and since then has presented programs of 10 to 20 works each year involving around 100 performers from various countries and drawing an audience of over 10,000 annually. The artistic director is also SIDance’s founder, Lee Jong-Ho. In addition to the festival’s programs of invited works from Korea and abroad, it also puts major efforts into collaborative productions with overseas artists each year. The organizer is the Seoul Section of the International Dance Council CID-UNESCO.